What is Orbital?

Orbital is the School of Computing’s self-driven programming summer experience. It is designed to give first-year students the opportunity to 1) self-learn and 2) build something useful. It is designed as a 4-unit course that is taken pass/fail (CS/CU) over the summer1.

Unlike the School’s traditional courses which emphasize academic learning, this course leverages the growing opportunity that computing students at all levels have in building useful applications. This skill does not normally come by formal training, but rather requires time, experience, trial-and-error to hone. Information foraging for technical details on the Web can be difficult, but we feel that through a combination of self- and peer-help, students will be able to put together useful systems and generate confidence in being able to go beyond the basics, and seek solutions on their own. In fact, computing is the only discipline whose output can scale dramatically; a single person’s work can affect millions of lives, everyday.

Our School does not teach programming prowess as formal coursework, as it is not academic in nature. Orbital is one mode where young energetic students can fill this gap by their own initiative.

1Units will be provided under the 4-unit S/U course code CP2106 Independent Software Development Project.